Walter Yost special exhibit now through April 2017

True to His Roots - examines the art, history, family and meaning of the work and tools of Atchison County's best known artist

Learn more

1963 Valley Farm by Walter Yost

Valley Farm

Discover Atchison County's most well-known artist & teacher.

Explore the recreated Barn Studio of Walter Yost in the Museum.

View a rotating gallery of his art - see his student art and illustrations & more...

...and share your memories, sign the Studio Guestbook, leave your own art memory.

The Details


That would be YOU - whether you knew Walter Yost or not you can experience his view of Kansas as he captured it in his art.


This special exhibit on Atchison County's own - Walter Yost - is the biggest - most comprehensive exhibit project we have undertaken in our 50 years as Atchison County's Museum. It has Art, it has Yost's recreated barn studio, it has his tools and the artifacts of family, farm and home he preserved.


Walter Yost - True to His Roots is now open and evolving, we will continue to add new pieces to the exhibit, more information will be added as YOU - our audience share your own knowledge, stories, art and more. The exhibit will be on display in the Atchison County Historical Society Museum from NOW through April 2017.... and maybe longer.

The works of art displayed will rotate as we borrow pieces for exhibit about every 6 to 8 weeks and for the Holiday Season we are restoring one of Yost's final large projects - an outdoor Christmas Light background --- watch for more details soon.

And watch here and on Facebook for special events, programs, art creation days and more...


Atchison County's Museum

The Atchison County Historical Society

200 S. 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot

Atchison, KS 66002


Thanks to Walter Yost's daughter, Karen McDow, and many former students and collectors of Walter Yost's art, stories, Yostisms we can bring you this exhibit that illustrates "that the making of art is creating a visual, historical record of our time on Earth ".

Hometown Teams Poster


Rescheduled for Jan 7 2017

Don’t Miss It - special Writing Workshop
– tune up your skills, ability to tell YOUR story

Atchison County Historical Society and Effingham Community Library team to host program this Saturday, Jan. 7th  10 a.m. to noon

After having to postpone the original program due to the ice conditions and snow – the FREE Writing Workshop has been rescheduled for the New Year. “We had several people who already contacted us they were planning to attend – then the forecast of icy conditions with snow to follow hit,” said Chris Taylor, executive director of the Atchison County Historical Society. “We will notify those who planned to come before and we hope nicer weather will bring out even more people to take advantage of this unique program.”

Making your point, advancing your argument or telling your own story is something everyone needs to do at some point – whether writing a letter to the editor, recording a story from your own life, or communicating on Facebook or Twitter. A special FREE writing workshop aims to help improve the writer inside of each of us, with the goal that the path to improving our rural communities can come through Civil Discourse.

Kansas Humanities Council speaker Anthony Funari, professor of writing and literature at Johnson County Community College, will teach the workshop designed to give tips on improving your ability to get your point across in the written word.

The Atchison County Historical Society is partnering with the Effingham Community Library to bring a free writing workshop to Atchison County citizens. The workshop will take place this Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Effingham Library, 414 Main Street in Effingham, KS.

“The program will give tips to make your argument and get your point across in today’s world,” said Funari. “Today, arguments have become condensed down to 140 characters. To argue often seems more about putting out a statement that will provoke emotion rather than open up a conversation.”

In this writing workshop, Anthony Funari will teach writers how to develop a thoughtful argument. That arguing should be as much about advancing an idea as listening to others. Those joining in on the workshop will examine the different parts of an argument. What is it to make a claim? How does an argument connect a claim to a reason? What are the assumptions the underline these two elements of an argument? This workshop is aimed to help the writer in all of us be more effective whether writing a letter to the editor, writing your own story for posterity, or in the limited character world of today’s social media.

In addition to the workshop itself, there are also avenues to having the writing of participants get into print, broadcast and be displayed and hopefully prompt discussion of the issues and ideas of what we love about our community and what we should be doing to continue to improve our hometowns.

The writing workshop is free and open to the public. Light breakfast snacks and beverages will be available. Those attending may bring an existing piece of writing to share or get feedback on. The program will begin at 10 a.m. and last an hour and a half with the last half hour for questions or sharing and feedback on existing writing.

While not required to attend – the Historical Society asks those positively planning to attend to drop an email or phone message to Executive Director Chris Taylor at the Atchison County Historical Society to help have a count for the program and materials. Email – or phone – 913-367-6238. Or comment on our Facebook page.


Click here to download a pdf of the Writing Workshop Poster.


Hometown Teams Poster


Tell me more about Walter Yost. What is True to His Roots?

Walter Arthur Yost was born in Cummings, KS on Feb. 26, 1911 in the same room he would still sleep in as an adult. Although he would travel far in his years on Earth he would never leave his Atchison County home.
A family man, teacher, artist, worker of the soil and a preserver of the beauty and history that surrounded him - he painted more than 500 paintings, plus more screen prints, illustrations and projects than he could count.
His wife Mary and daughter Karen were inspirations to his life and art as was preserving his family home, the tools and artifacts of his family heritage.

He worked his way through school and the University of Kansas during the Great Depression, returned home to save the family homestead, began teaching while earning his Masters of Fine Arts also at the Univ. of Kansas.

He recieved the 1976 Kansas Governors Artist of the Year Award and participated in the 1989-1990 Kansas Governors Artist Winners Traveling Exhibition.

He considered his greatest success the success of his thousands of students - at Atchison High School, Highland Community College, Benedictine College and many more colleges, local students and more through the years.

May 26, 1995 he died at his home in Cummings, KS.


“If you were caught drawing a picture, you got your knuckles slapped. The second time, you got a board around your rear end,” Walter Yost about when he was in elementary school at the Camp Creek Grade School. “Art was considered foolishness.”

WALTER YOST, about when he was in elementary school at the Camp Creek Grade School in Atchison County, KS


You can help us make this exhibit even more comprehensive. We feel Walter Yost is underappreciated as an artist and his impact underrated. Part of this project is creating an archive of his work and information, stories and details about his life and work and the success of his students. We believe this archive of material will be of great value to researchers in the future - but if we wait until Yost receives his due many of his paintings and the stories from his students will be impossible to locate. So here is where you get involved - send us an email with your information - details and photos of any art pieces you may possess. We will continue gathering through the exhibit and beyond - but now is the time to contact us. Click here to go to the Contact Us Page and help us gather more info on Walter Yost.


Contact Us for more info

The Atchison County Historical Society Museum
P.O. Box 201
200 S. 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot
Atchison, KS 66002
P: (913) 367-6238
Email us
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About the Atchison County Historical Society

Established in 1967, the first museum was opened in 1968. The Society moved into the current museum, the 1880 Santa Fe Depot, in 1989. We host quarterly evening adult education programs and sponsor K-12 programming, including the monthly Pioneer Club for 4th-7th grade students.

The Atchison County Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in the State of Kansas.

More About Us
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About Independence Creek: Lewis & Clark Historic Site

Open Sunrise to Sunset year round. Located 5 miles north of Atchison's Main Street this site may be reached by car or by hiking/biking trail. The 13.5 acre site has reestablished the prairie as seen by the Corps of Discovery and encompasses a stretch of Independence Creek referred to by Captain William Clark in his July 4, 1804 journal entry. A pedestrian bridge completes the 5-mile trail link to the Atchison Riverfront. A re-creation of a 1724-1804 era Kanza Indian Earthlodge interprets the Kanza habitation of this location.

Physical location:

19917 314th Road, Atchison, KS

Explore more about Independence Creek

Museum Hours & Admission

Summer Hours:

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday

noon to 5 pm Sundays

Winter Hours: (November - March)

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday

10 am to 4 pm Saturdays

noon to 4 pm Sundays (closed Jan & Feb)

Open to the public 350 days a year - closed: New Years, Sundays in January and February, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas & New Year's Eve.

Museum admission is by donation - requested donations $2-adults, $1-children, $1.50-seniors, $5-family.

Contact us for Group Tours booking, rates and details.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (913) 367 6238
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Atchison County Historical Society
  • P.O. Box 201
  • 200 S. 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot
    Atchison, KS 66002